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Bipartisan Senate bill would strengthen election security with U.S. allies

November 30, 2018

A pair of senators on Friday introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at easing the State Department’s ability to share election security information with allies to combat disinformation campaigns, tackle voter fraud and thwart database hacks.

Proposed by Sen. Dan Sullivan, Arkansas Republican, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, the Global Electoral Exchange Act would set up exchange programs between the U.S. and overseas partners to promote best practices among election officials to strengthen democracy around the world.

In September, similar legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas Democrat, passed by unanimous consent in the House.

“The threats to our democratic electoral process and those of other democracies across the globe should not be taken lightly,” Mr. Sullivan said in a statement on Friday.

The bill also authorizes State Department officials to provide grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations that specialize in election security to work with similar overseas organizations to protect their democracies from threats posed by countries like Russia and Iran.

“Election security is national security,” Ms. Klobuchar added in the statement. “Our intelligence community continues to warn that our elections, and those of our allies, are a target for adversaries.”

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